This Deluxe resort is owned and operated by the U.S. Armed Forces and is open to U.S. military personnel (including members of the National Guard and reserves, retired military, and employees of the U.S. Public Health Service and the Department of Defense) and their families, foreign military personnel attached to U.S. units, and some civilian contractors. Shades of Green consists of one three-story building nestled among three golf courses, which are open to all Disney guests.
At 455 square feet each, the 586 guest rooms at Shades of Green are larger than those at the Grand Floridian. Decor is pleasant though thoroughly unremarkable, pretty much the same as at any mid-priced hotel. Most rooms have two queen-size beds, a daybed, and a table and four chairs, as well as a television in an armoire. All rooms have a patio or balcony.
According to a serviceman from Fort Worth, Texas, Shades of Green is the way to go:
Shades of Green is the best-kept secret in Disney. It's actually a military resort in the Disney complex with all the benefits of being a Disney resort. It was a great deal, and military members usually look for the best deals. When my wife and I stayed there in May, we paid $58 a night [regular rates range from $95 to $275 depending on rank]. That is not per person. That was the total price. The rooms were huge. It had two double beds and a lot of room to spare. They also had VCRs in the rooms and a movie-vending machine on the second floor. Shades of Green is right across the street from the Polynesian Resort. It's about a 10- to 15-minute walk to the Transportation and Ticket Center. The hotel does have shuttle buses that take you to the TTC (about a 2-minute ride). Our overall stay at Shades of Green was wonderful.
A Minot AFB, North Dakota, father of three agrees (mostly):
As an active-duty military member, I can tell you there's no better deal on a WDW vacation than at Shades of Green. A couple of drawbacks, though, were the mid-level quality of the food at the Italian restaurant and the lack of a place to get a drink. Our first visit to this hotel was in 1996 just after it opened; if you haven't been since it was overhauled. Wow! You're in for a treat. We'll be back in 2010!
Finally, a mom from Winchester, Virginia, weighs in:
Shades of Green has an AAFES [Army & Air Force Exchange Service] on-site. In addition to carrying everything one might find in a hotel gift/sundries shop, this small store carries Disney merchandise. It's also a Class Six [a military version of a package store]. We were able to purchase everything we needed there and never had to leave WDW in search of a grocery store. Plus there's no tax on purchases. A huge time- and hassle-saver!
Even though the resort isn't operated by Disney, service is comparable to that at Disney Deluxe properties. Transportation to all theme parks is by bus, with a transfer required to almost all destinations. Walking time to the bus-loading area from the most remote rooms is about 5 minutes. The resort is immensely popular; make reservations seven months in advance.
Shades of Green completed a major expansion in 2004. The project added 299 guest rooms, 10 suites, a multilevel parking structure, an Italian restaurant, and a new family-style restaurant. You don't have to worry much about bad rooms at Shades of Green. Except for a small percentage that overlook the entrance road and parking lot, most offer views of the golf courses that surround the hotel, or the swimming area. When you book your reservation, make your preference known. Shades of Green has its own Web site, shadesofgreen.org.
|Hotel||Definitely (+/- since last year)|
|Shades of Green at Walt Disney World||78% (-14%)|
|Average for WDW hotels||76% (+0%)|
|Average for off-site hotels||57% (+0%)|
|Hotel||Definitely (+/- since last year)|
|Shades of Green at Walt Disney World||78% (-22%)|
|Average for WDW hotels||92% (+2%)|
|Average for off-site hotels||79% (-7%)|
|Large guest rooms||No interesting theme|
|Informaility||Limited on-site dining|
|Quiet setting||Limited bus service|
|Views of golf course from guest rooms|
|Swimming complex, fitness center|
|Game room with pool tables|
|Free in-room internet and Wi-Fi|
|Park||Commuting Times||Resort Transportation|
|Magic Kingdom||35 min|
|Hollywood Studios||20 min|
|Animal Kingdom||22 min|
|Quietness of Room||C+|
|Shuttle to Parks||Yes|